Islam is liberation; freedom.
Every person has the ability to be free through Islam if they choose, even if they are poor, even if they are oppressed, even if they are physically in chains – in the bowels of a torturous prison.
How Islam Works?
Because Islam straddles every rift. It’s able to encompass every one and every thing.
It’s kind of like this:
Think of a type of success; say, via business.
You want to be successful. Rather, you need a successful form of sustenance. So you decide to start a business.
But you don’t know what kind of business will be successful; how to start one, how to run it.
You know nothing about being an entrepreneur.
If you have to go through the process all alone and figure out every detail from knowing absolutely nothing, it will surely be a struggle.
If your success and wellbeing depend entirely on running that business flawlessly, the process will no doubt be stressful.
Your lack of knowledge is a burden.
Let’s say you are receiving conflicting information about the correct way to run a business. It will be hard to decide which advice will be more beneficial. You may fail many times over.
You struggle every day.
And then suddenly an experienced and highly successful business person comes along. They provide everything you need to make your business more than you even imagined it could be.
They give you the money, the knowhow, the contacts. They educate you on what to do every step of the way. They are entirely at your disposal.
Can you imagine the burden lifted? The relief?
That’s how Islam works.
The tools to surmount every obstacle are provided for you. Handed to you.
So naturally: implementing it is freeing. The burden of not knowing is lifted.
Guidance is provided at every step. You see and feel the results. And it all has to do with the self, or the soul.
So, that self can adapt to be in the best state relative to its particular situation.
Contrary to what you might think, even wealth and comfort are tests in this life. So someone seemingly living an easy life is also in need of guidance on how to reach true success. That is freedom!
Pitfalls exist in every situation. We need knowledge to avoid them. Opportunities for benefit exist in every situation. We need knowledge to recognize them.
To be successful in the life we all have been given, we need knowledge from the One Who gave life to us.
When you have that knowledge, it liberates you from the shackles of ignorance and the burdens of incorrect advice.
It’s like driving on a smoothly paved, straight road as opposed to an uneven ground covered in stones and obstacles.
Wouldn’t you feel free once you get off the rocky terrain onto that smooth road?
Wow! That’s the free life. That’s true freedom.
And I think whatever way someone might follow, the satisfaction can never compare to the complete satisfaction of living the way you are intended to live: Driving on that straight, clean road., and according to the guidance given by the Manufacturer- your Manufacturer.
Freedom & Success
So one might ask how do we know which is the right set of instructions?
If you really want to know, it just takes a little dedication. Truth stands out amongst falsehood.
If you want it, really want it, it will be shown to you. Given to you; handed to you with utmost mercy.
That is the smooth road you were hoping for: comfort, peace. Then if you choose it and put effort into following it, this is the outcome: success, freedom.
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful. (Al-A`raf 7:157)
Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; it is a revelation from the Most Wise, the Worthy of Praise. (Fussilat 41:42)
Danielle LoDuca is a third generation American, raised in a homogeneous, white, suburban community. Although raised as a Catholic, she considered herself agnostic and was disdainful of religion in general until she chose Islam in 2002. She is an artist with a BFA from Pratt Institute, as well as a wife and mother of five. She now blogs about Islam and how it relates to American culture and values, using her own experience as well as authentic sources.